The allure of getting to play their game before huge crowds on the final day of the boys tennis state tournament eluded both Vincent Lin and Mack Galvin on Friday at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights.
Lin (22-1), a sophomore, suffered his first defeat of the year to top seed Martin Joyce of Hinsdale Central in the quarterfinals.
Galvin a freshman from Rolling Meadows, fell to 3-4 seed Jeremy Bush (29-4) of Stevenson in the fourth round, sending the two superb young players from the Mid-Suburban League into the backdraw.
Galvin (35-7) saw his sensational rookie season come to an end with a loss to Brice Polender of Lake Forest.
Lin will go after a top-eight finish at Buffalo Grove, with an 8 a.m. Saturday match scheduled against 5-8 seed, Conrad Harron of Chicago U-High.
"Although there were a lot of very talented players that I saw when I was looking down the courts and the line of players in the semifinals, none of them had the look of the eventual state champ like Joyce did," said Schaumburg coach Jason Campell, moments after Joyce defeated Lin 6-1, 6-2. "So there's no shame in losing to the guy who likely will win it all (Saturday) afternoon."
Lin reached the semifinals after taking apart four-time state qualifier Toby Ma of Deerfield. But Lin never really got his game going against Joyce, who one round earlier was pushed to three sets by Brendan Metzler before rolling in the third.
"Vincent is a very good player, and someone that I've had really good matches with in the USTA," said Joyce. "He clearly should have been at least a 5-8 seed, but in our match, I guess I was a little bit better than him."
Galvin remained upbeat despite his 6-2, 6-0 loss to Stevenson's standout.
"I went up 2-1 in that first set, and felt like I played pretty good the rest of that first set, and had a shot at him, but he is so good, and so steady and just keeps the ball in play," said Galvin, the MSL champ. "I began to not hit my shots, and he took advantage of me when that happened.
"I was really happy with my win yesterday against (Brandon) Harris (of Edwardsville) to reach the quarters, because he beat me up so badly at the Pitchford. So it felt good to get that one back."
Conant fans were feeling very good about their top doubles team, Peter Itskovich/Connor Sacks (25-5), who made a big splash during their two-day stay by winning two in the front draw on Thursday, and another two more Friday before eliminated by a Rockford Boylan team 6-3, 7-6 (4) at Palatine High School.
"Boylan might have been a little bit better than us because of the schedule they played, and against better opponents when together, but to get to this point in the tournament and to beat quality teams along the way was a terrific accomplishment for both of those guys, and something they can be proud of, as well as our program," said Conant coach Amar Patel.
The brilliant career of Varun Parekh (21-13) came to an end when the Barrington team captain, a three-time state qualifier, dropped a 6-2, 6-3 decision to Eric Pontow of Sandburg in the backdraw at Wheeling on Friday.
"Varun has been a wonderful and classy player while here and finished the last month of his career on an incredible high note for us," said Barrington coach John Roncone. "I can only hope that our returning players learn from watching the great work ethic and desire to succeed Varun has exhibited."
Hinsdale Central has a commanding lead in the team race and is virtually assured of defending its state championship. Stevenson (31 points) is 1 point ahead of Lake Forest in the race for second place.
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